Rizal has been one of the favorite destination of our biking group. This place never seems to run out of exciting adventures. Our latest conquest? An epic ride to Puray Falls.
Puray Falls, also known to the locals as Panas falls, is located on the remote part of Rodriguez, Rizal. This hidden wonder hasn’t been much known to the public until in 2002 when a group of mountain bikers mapped this area of Rizal searching for new trails.
There were five of us during this ride. Master Cy, Hitman, Dabid Alvin and I met up at UP, which is our usual starting point. The distance from UP to Barangay San Isidro in Rodriguez is around 33 kilometers of paved and mostly flat roads.
Visitors of Puray Falls take the heavy duty tricycles in San Isidro to get there. For bikers, this is where the real challenge starts.
From San Isidro, we biked our way to Brgy. Mascap, a six-kilometer uphill ride. Although it was not too steep and it was mostly paved road, we had to do it under the summer sun. And the summer heat this year had been so hot, it was almost record-breaking.
In Mascap, just past the elementary school, we reached a fork of two trails, both leading to Brgy. Puray. According to the locals the left road is shorter and relatively easier than the right. And it has a better view, so this was the one we took.
The trail to Puray has several short uphills and a number or river crossings. The water level here could reach waist deep or higher during rainy days. But during summer, it could only be less than a foot, so our mountain bikes had no trouble crossing.
There are portions of the trail where it would be parallel to the river, giving us the perfect view of the place. I couldn’t help myself but to stop and appreciate the scenic landscape. Puray could easily be on top of my favorite trails list.
We reached Brgy. Puray in less than an hour. Exhaustion was starting to get to us so we had to take a breather. Puray Falls is actually situated in Sitio Bagong Silang which was still three kilometers away.
Again we came into a fork. We could either go left and cross more rivers or go straight where we had to take a steep uphill. We took the uphill path because it was shorter. And it was past 12 already and we still hadn’t eaten for lunch.
We went straight up, to more uphills, then some downhills too, then crossed the river a few more times, until the we reached the end of the trail. None of us had ever been to Puray falls, so we just relied on our research over the internet and directions from the locals. We didn’t notice that we had already gone past Brgy. Bagong Silang.
After asking the friendly locals, we realized we were in Sitio Kabuuan, around two kilometers past Bagong Silang. It was a bit dishearthening to think that we had to climb back up again. But then we learned that there is a nearby river we could visit, and according to the locals, it is a nice place too, our consolation for biking beyond our destination. They call this place, Hantik.
When I heard Hantik, the first thing that came to my mind are the big weaver ants I see in mango trees. Probably it has something to do with how this river was named.
Hantik is just less than five minutes away from the only sari sari store in Kabuuan. It was a small river, but it sure was beautiful. We suspected it was still part of the Puray River system.
There were kids swimming and playing in the water when we get there. We rested for a few minutes, had some chat with the kids. My body was already tired and seeing those kids having fun made we want to dive in to the water. But we had to get to Puray falls, and it was getting late already.
After recovering for a few minutes, we got back on our bikes and headed back to Bagong Silang, exerting what was left on our tired bodies. And finally, we got there.
We parked our bikes at Ate Molina’s place. Bikers usually leave their bikes here before heading to Puray falls. We planned to eat our lunch here after when we get back from the falls.
From Bagong Silang, we trekked for another ten minutes before finally reaching this secluded beauty, our trophy.
After several hours of biking, my thigh muscles were already aching. And to do it under the mean summer sun, all I wanted was to jump into the water right away.
Finally, we could relax.
During this ride, I may have asked myself a few times, “Why am I doing this?”. I could have just sat back at home, watched some movie and ate my favorite meal. But instead, I was out here slow-roasting my self under the sun, collecting dirt and potentially getting myself injured.
The truth is, I am not so sure. It could be for a good facebook profile picture or maybe for some bragging rights, I don’t know. But whenever I’m outdoor and closer to nature, I have a feeling of solitude. I feel free from all the stress of city life.
And Puray sure made me feel exactly that way.
Our ride to Puray is one of the epic rides we had in a while. If mountain biking is all about adventure, getting into the unknown and pushing yourself to the limit, Puray won’t disappoint, that I could guarantee.
>> Check out my other bike adventures : Where My Bike Has Been in the Past 52 Weeks
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